Sophos is looking beyond endpoints in its strategy to help businesses cope with the bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon.
The company today unveiled Sophos EndUser Protection, a product that blends endpoint protection with mobile device management (MDM) to provide comprehensive, user-centric security management. It’s a shift from IT management solutions that focus strictly on devices, according to Sophos.
In a press statement, the company explained, “Unlike traditional security products, which are licensed for each device separately, Sophos EndUser Protection provides consolidated protection for every device on a network by securing per-user rather than per-device.”
Today, IT administrators are struggling with the sheer volume of consumer devices — company-owned and otherwise — that access corporate data and compete for network resources. It’s a situation that Sophos CMO Matt Fairbanks can identify with.
“Every day, I use three or four different devices for business purposes, and the consumerization trend points to more people using even more devices,” said Fairbanks.
For Sophos, tying together endpoint protection and MDM only makes sense. “Our value proposition to customers and partners is complete security without complexity. And as BYOD moves more to the forefront of complete security, Sophos EndUser Protection allows more IT professionals to embrace BYOD rather than try to reverse it.”
Sophos’ strategy could also potentially alleviate some licensing headaches for IT managers. And of late, there is no shortage of MDM solutions providers.
Companies like AppSense, AirWatch and Dell (via its Wyse acquisition) have been rolling out new MDM offerings in the wake of devices like the iPhone 5. Last month, Citrix snapped up Zenprise for its BYOD-taming tech.
While this diverse group of vendors reflects a growing MDM market, for many IT departments, it means one more vendor relationship to manage.
IDC research vice president Charles Kolodgy noted that Sophos’s approach could help simplify matters. “Sophos’s model of combining their endpoint and mobile device management offerings to secure users rather than devices can eliminate many of the costs and complexities normally associated with securing BYOD.”
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.